Apr 8, 2013 8:21am
Re: TDIH '84 time for the 'Brent talk...
Just in case you care. Here are my notes on the Irvine show. I also preferred the Dodd SBD.
6. 4/07/84 – Irvine Meadows, Irvine, CAhttp://archive.org/details/gd84-04-07.sbd.dodd.13816.sbeok.shnf
a. Feel Like A Stranger* – Psychedelic funkiness? The boys sound like they are in a nice groove 6 shows into the year. Jerry and Bobby are meshed nicely during the jam at the 5:00 point.
b. West L.A. Fadeaway* – I thought it would take longer, but Brent’s keys have definitely grown on me. Still prefer Pig Pen and Keith over Brent, and much prefer ‘68-‘69, ‘72-‘73 and ‘77, but I am beginning to understand why people who saw the Dead for the first time in the Brent years enjoy this era.
c. Me and My Uncle – The obligatory run of cowboy tunes just to piss off the drummers? It’s like cilantro, you either like it or you don’t.
d. Mexicali Blues – See MAMU.
e. Althea* – This is good. Bobby’s rhythm is nice and growly. He and Jerry are locked in.
f. CC Rider* – Bobby’s rhythm is lead? From 5:20 or so on, Jerry and Bobby bring the tune home on fire. The only thing missing is Pig Pen and his harp. Unfortunate that the recording is cut. Also, whenever presented with the choice of B3 keys or tinkly keys, ALWAYS CHOOSE B3.
g. Big Railroad Blues* – The energy from CC bleeds into this version of BRB. They are having fun. A very nice tasty surprise buried in 1984.
h. My Brother Esau* – Really like Bobby’s rhythm work and pedal effects here. Also, the cowbell makes another appearance. What’s not to like? Far superior to the 4/1/84 MBE.
i. Touch of Grey – Now that we have the obligatory Jerry vocal flub out of the way...“blahuh nah nah morning sky...”. Nope, there’s more...”...oh well, uhhh, anyway...”. And in an ‘I’d like to buy a “B” Alex’ moment, “...Ables and the Kays and the Cees...”. He atoned himself somewhat with an okay guitar solo in the middle but even that kind of faded. I predict a train wreck when we get to the kerosene giving cow.....yup. What a mess. Apparently, after a strong start, whatever Jerry was on kicked his ass and they had to end the first set. Bobby sort of confirms it with this comment: “We’re gonna take a short break and warm up and we’ll be right back.” Nowhere from here but up.
j. Iko, Iko – Whatever they did at the break to “warm up” appears to have worked. Jerry’s playing seems crisper and his vocals stronger. Hope it stays.
k. Playin’ in the Band – Reasonably well played given how the first set ended, vocals starting to wobble again. Seems like the ‘80s Reader’s Digest version.
l. Uncle John’s Band – See playing.
m. Drums – Now we have some tinkly drums. Was actually okay to listen to.
n. Space – A nice D/S pairing.
o. Spanish Jam* – Not too sure about some of the effects they were using, but it was interesting enough to like.
p. The Other One* – Interesting vocal echo effects. Not as deep as the early versions, but solid enough for 1984. Kind of an abrupt ending into Wharf Rat. Another, short, constrained version.
q. Wharf Rat* – Jerry’s vocals were spotty and very tired sounding – Brent’s backing vocals were much better than Jerry. Great playing matched by equally bad singing. Solos and instrumental passages were almost sweeping and really pulled the song up. Despite the lack of strength in the vocals, this was a good version. Another case of falling off a cliff into the next song instead of any kind of transition jamming.
r. Throwing Stones* – Starting to like this song.
s. Not Fade Away – Couple of appearances by ‘James Brown’ Bobby.
t. Not Fade Away – Not sure what the fade away into a second track was all about. Get it? Maybe a discussion about which One More Saturday Night to close with?
u. One More Saturday Night* - Nice playing, very nice keys, the boys are hitting on all cylinders. Just in time for the last song.
All in all, not a bad show, but the entire second set seems compressed and ‘efficient’. Lots of potential to jam out the songs just a little bit more.